Do you use real people for your characters?

There’s always bits and pieces of people I know. They can be a family member or one of my college professors. Sometimes I see someone in the grocery store and I use their physical appearance to create a character. I’m a people watcher and I’m always jotting down aspects of strangers that catch my attention.

How do you come up with your character names?

That’s weirdly one of the most difficult parts of writing for me. I start off with names that have meaning and reflect the character or give a feel for their personality, but sometimes I can be halfway through a book and realize it isn’t working because the name isn’t right. I can change it a dozen times before I finally write The End.

Were your characters inspired by anyone in your life? Or were they all created in your imagination?

Usually they’re a combination of different people I know as well as a large dose of imagination, especially my heroes. I’m at an age that I love writing about delicious alpha males, but if I actually had to live with one day in and day out I would probably put a stake through him. I love the fact that my husband is kind and gentle and always thinks about what will make me happy. The heroines usually have qualities that I’ve always wanted for myself. Courage, loyalty, and a love for family.

How much research does it take to write a suspense?

More than I ever expected, lol. I started learning about law enforcement. I’m lucky enough to know our local sheriff and he has been invaluable in answering my endless questions and allowing me to spend time with him on the job. For each main character that I create, I spend time discovering as much as possible about their careers. For Don’t Look, my local vet allowed me to spend time with her in the clinic, it was eye-opening to say the least.

I also travel to the locations, even if they’re imaginary, I go to the general area I want to set the book. There’s nothing that replaces first-hand experience.

Is it ever hard to switch between genres?

It’s my favorite thing! When I finish a book I’m ready for something completely different. I love the fact I can jump into a murder mystery or delved into fantasy. It keeps everything fresh, something that isn’t always easy after 20 + years.

How did you get the idea for the Magic for Hire series?

I loved writing the Guardians of Eternity and Levet will forever be one of my favorite characters, but the focus of the series started with a clan of male vampires.

This time, the series will be focused on female mages and how their friendship grows and deepens as they battle to save the world. Like all my books, they will be filled with plenty of adventure, hot spice, and dollops of snark.

Where is the location of the Magic for Hire series?

The stories travel around the world, but they’re centered at the Witch’s Brew, a coffeeshop/bookstore/mage-for-hire-office in Jersey. You can eat a lemon poppyseed muffin, find a book by your favorite author, and sign a contract for a nasty curse to be cast on your enemy all in one place. One stop shopping.

What inspired the Magic for Hire series?

I’ve always wanted to do a series that are focused on witches, but I wanted them to have a specific vibe. Not only did I want an interesting magic system, but stories that revealed the dynamics of their friendship. I also want them to grow and develop as women finding their place in a changing world. Then my oldest son moved to New Jersey and I stepped into a small coffeeshop and knew immediately I had the setting I’d been searching for…with plenty of attitude!